YHVH’s cycles give us a pattern and a plan to live our lives. We are preparing for Shabbat; following YHVH’s rotation.
Preparing for Shabbat starts every Sunday and culminates on Friday – Preparation Day! One of the most beautiful parts of becoming Hebrew and Torah observant is learning His cycles. What a joy to allow ourselves to function within His calendar (not talking particular calendars, just the principle).
First, we begin celebrating and learning about His Biblical Feasts, and each year we learn more and go deeper. Second, we become aware of the monthly cycles of the moon, celebrating or at least remembering the new moon. So, here we have begun functioning on His year to year rhythms and His monthly patterns. Next, the joy of celebrating and keeping the Sabbath.
Preparing for the weekly Sabbath includes learning the discipline of resting. I know for us, in the beginning, it was overwhelming figuring out how to take a whole day off from doing! There is genuine heart preparation needed to enter into His rest.
In addition to preparing our hearts to enter into His presence for 24 set-apart hours, we must to physically make ourselves and our families ready.
Rather than waiting for Friday, the official preparation day for Shabbat, it is easier to begin on the first day of the week, Sunday. If you take a few minutes on Sunday to start thinking through preparations for the next Shabbat, you will find yourself closer to Abba. Why is that? Because you are focusing on His set-apart day, aligning your daily life around it.
When you begin living your life on the daily level on His cycle, it is no longer a burden to reach Friday, the preparation day for the Shabbat. You are ready, and you know what needs to be accomplished and you possess shalom.
What a Blessing being prepared for Shabbat is!
Practical Tips for Preparing for Shabbat
- Make a list on Sunday of what needs to be accomplished for the coming Shabbat. This may be inviting guests for Friday dinner, including others in your Shabbat rest, meal planning, cleaning, etc.
- On Monday, decide on a cleaning schedule for the week. This is a good day to reach out with any invitations you intend to put out for others to join you.
- Wednesday or Thursday is a good time to get whatever store items you need for Shabbat. Food and paper products, candles, maybe some fresh flowers for your Sabbath table.
- Thursday is an excellent day to begin your food preparations. Any cutting, chopping, or pre-cooking you can accomplish.
- Thursday or Friday – make sure the car has gas if your Shabbat is going to include any travel.
- Friday, preparation day arrives! Be sure laundry is caught up, and everyone is ready clothes-wise for Shabbat.
- Friday – be sure you spend time prepping your heart today to enter into His rest.
- The less hectic your workload was during the week, the easier it becomes to slip into His gift of rest.
- Friday, set your table to show the specialness of this meal and transition into Shabbat
- If you are hosting a group, you have a more significant burden to prepare for. Please enjoy this post that can help you with some helpful ideas: Hospitality in Home Gatherings
- Enter into His rest
A Word of Caution on Preparing for Shabbat
IT IS NOT ABOUT PERFECTION. It is about preparing your heart and time into setting aside twenty-four hours with Him. If you follow even three of the above tips, you will have an easier time entering into this precious weekly space.
Fight against perfection. Fight against procrastination. Love Him and focus on His cycle of life that He has given us.
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